- Associated Press - Monday, June 1, 2015

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A quiet primary season is about wrap up as New Jersey voters head to the ballots on Tuesday to pick Democratic and Republican candidates for November’s Assembly election.

The Assembly is atop the ticket for the first time in 16 years because of a quirk in term lengths, and in 35 of the state’s 40 districts the primaries are not contested. Some voters will cast ballots for other offices, like freeholder and county executive. Others will have only uncontested Assembly races on their polls.

Experts expect turnout to be quite low. In 1999, the last time Assembly races topped the ballot, only 6 percent of eligible voters went the polls in the primary - fewer than 300,000 voted in that election.

Rider University assistant political science professor Ben Dworkin says local ambitions and local politics are driving the handful of primaries this year.

Here’s a look at the profile of this week’s election:



Polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. across the state. Only voters registered with either party cast votes in the state’s closed primary.

That contrasts with some other states that allow unaffiliated registered voters to participate in primaries. To find out where you vote and whether you’re registered, the state directs you to the Department of State website (https://bit.ly/1w0MlKB)



Democratic voters in New Jersey’s 15th, 20th, and 31st districts will see contested races, while the GOP features contests in the 9th and 24th districts.

Each district elects two people to the Assembly, and most party-backed candidates run together as a ticket. In the Mercer- and Hunterdon County-based 15th District, incumbents Reed Guscior and Liz Muoio are competing against attorney Dan Toto.

The Elizabeth-centered 20th District features a three-way competition. Incumbents Jamel Holley and Annette Quijano are challenged by Tony Monteiro and Giuliano Farina as well as Jorge Batista and Vivian Bell.

Hudson County’s 31st District features two open seats. Former aide to Sen. Bob Menendez Nicholas Chiaravalloti and ticket-mate Angela McKnight - who have the establishment backing - are taking on several challengers, including Joseph Conte and Ray Regalado and Bruce Alston and Washington Flores.

Republican incumbent DiAnne Gove and Brian Rumpf are taking on Howard Height and Frederic Kociban in the 9th District in parts of Atlantic, Burlington and Ocean counties.

In northwest New Jersey’s 24th District, incumbent Parker Space and ticket-mate Gail Phoebus are taking on challengers Marie Bilik and Nathan Orr, who are running separately.

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